HISTORY AND MISSION OF G&OS
Green & Open Somerville grew out of brainstorming sessions with residents who were worried about the state of Somerville's green spaces. After a few meetings, it became apparent that there were some common themes: we did not have enough green spaces, and those we did have were often in poor shape. So, in 2014, Renée and Tori decided that it was time to change that!
Our advocacy over the years has included fighting the installation of artificial turf on grass athletic fields; lobbying for significantly stronger sustainability language in Union Square Overlay District zoning and the Citywide zoning overhaul; getting a native plant ordinance passed that is the first in the country that requires a minimum amount of native species be used on city property; bringing awareness to the sad state of our tree canopy, especially in neighborhoods already dealing with the harsh impacts of McGrath Highway and I 93 running through them; and organizing community events to plant native species gardens, weed invasive plants, and put in planter gardens in highly paved areas.
Over the years, our mission evolved from a general goal to increase green space and improve the green space we have, to a focus on ensuring that Somerville's green space is ecologically sound, supporting the ecosystem that supports us, and educating as many people as possible about how critical a healthy ecosystem is in our ability to survive climate change.